5 Major Causes of Data Breaches

Somewhere around the world, someone is punching their keypads real fast, or maybe slow – although I really like to picture it fast like in the movies – and here’s what they’re doing. They’re writing up codes and setting up malicious links just so they can slide behind your online security and steal away your personal data or that of your employees, or clients. Sadly, with new techniques, hackers are able to do this without raising any suspicions.

Now the big question is, how can you stop this? Here’s our answer to that. You first need to know what the major causes of data breaches are. How do hackers get in? Who or what can give them entry? Providing answers to these questions will help with creating a line of defense against attacks on your data. To help you with that, we compiled a list of top causes of data breaches and we’re going to share it with you in this blog.

Here’s our shortlist of top causes of data security breaches.

1. Weak passwords

You should be a little familiar with seeing those two words side by side. Basically, 90% of sign-up pages give you that “weak password” notification when you attempt to register a short and simple password. Bless the heroes behind those pages. Some even go as far as stopping you from moving to the next page until you create a strong password. However, some other pages give easy passes and we embrace it to our own disadvantage.

Weak passwords create a loophole in your security system and hackers are always ready to exploit that vulnerability.

2. Human Error

According to a Statista report, human errors are the second most popular cause of data breaches. Another report by Verizon revealed that one in five incidents are often caused by a mistake made by an employee.

Human errors could involve sending private information to the wrong recipients. It could also involve leaving a database of information online without any password or restriction. On this note, you might want to ensure that when using software like Google forms or sheets to collect user info, only a few trusted people can access the form. It’s a lot safer to give authorization to a few people within your organization than to make the form available to anyone with the link.

3. Misuse by authorized users

This might sound like a repetition of the previous point but it’s not. The major difference here is that this is usually intentional. Employees who have grudges with their organizations often seek to get back at them and see leaking company data as the best way to do that. In other instances, it might not be as a result of a grudge. However, employees can stumble on some inside information and decide to share it with an outsider for different reasons.

4. Malware

Fun fact; malware is a mix of two words – malicious and software, just like ransomware is a mixture of ransom and software. There are different types of malware and they can be used for different purposes. One prominent type is called RAM scrapers and it is used to scan the memory of devices to collect sensitive information.

POS systems are particularly vulnerable to this type of Malware and this could lead to huge financial losses as a result of the compromise of financial data.

5. Hacking

Sitting at the top of the chart for causes of data breaches is hacking. 45 percent of data breaches are attributed to hacking. It encompasses many activities like phishing or social engineering, ransomware injection, and so on.

You can’t prevent hackers from attempting a data breach but with a proper security system set up, you stand a good chance of safeguarding your data from them or at the very least, recovering stolen data.

To find out about the strength of your security system and optimize for a better chance against threats contact us for a cyber threat vulnerability assessment today.

Top Reports on Data Security Issues in 2020

Just like we have natural disasters and several other hazards in the physical world that we live in, there are also several hazards in the partially non-physical world of technology that we humans have succeeded in creating. Today, data security happens to be chief of them all.

Data security has been an issue in the tech world for years longer than our fingers can count. It first became a significant concern in the 1980s. The first set of viruses was the result of an error within an algorithm with the ability to replicate itself. After studying the error, tech geeks were encouraged to explore their new findings and it soon became another aspect of computer programming. Aren’t we unbelievable?

Years down the line, more harmful viruses have been created and hackers have developed new techniques for deploying these viruses into systems very easily.

The year 2020 was undoubtedly a year like none other before it. The world was plagued by a pandemic that took the lives of thousands, forced us behind doors, and crippled our economy. But, if you thought for a second that these sad events were enough to make hackers take some time off, well, think again.

Right in the middle of the pandemic, hackers went all out to set new records for malware attacks and data breaches. Here are some of the reports on data security issues in 2020;

Over 37 billion records were exposed due to data breaches

A reported total of about 3,932 data breaches occurred during the year. This led to the exposure of over 37 billion private and business records comprising email addresses, financial information, and others at the end of the year.

Global losses from cybercrime skyrocketed to nearly 1 trillion

According to a publication in the Washington Post, McAfee estimated the global loss from cybercrime and data breaches to be worth $945 billion in its 2020 report.

Nigeria was one of the top African countries that witnessed cyber attacks.

Bringing it home, Nigeria was one of the top African countries to witness malware attacks during the year. Over 3.8 million malware attacks were launched at individuals and companies in Nigeria while over 16.8 million potentially unwanted applications were also detected on systems during the first 7 months of the year.

Zoom, Twitter, and Nintendo were part of top tech companies that fell prey to attacks

On July 15, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and Bill Gates all shared a tweet with the same content. Or did they? The tweet read “I’m giving back to the community. All bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled! If you send $1000, I will send back $2000. Only doing this for 30 minutes,”. Well, if you ask me, that doesn’t really sound like any of them. However, the message reached over 350 million people and resulted in a recovery of £86,800 in stolen ‘donations’ within hours. Nintendo and Zoom also had their share of attacks both leading to loss of data.

Online crime increased by 400% in May 2020

As people sought safety information and organizations hurriedly implemented new work from home arrangements, hackers were presented with the perfect opportunity to launch attacks on those with little or no knowledge of data security measures.

Google blocked 18M malicious coronavirus emails on a daily basis during the pandemic.

Sounds like a huge number, but for hungry cyber frauds, it certainly wasn’t. Hackers attempted to use people’s worst fears at the time to lure them into traps. According to Google, some of these fraudulent emails impersonated government agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO). These 18 million malicious emails were asides from 240million COVID-related spam messages that Google was tracking on a daily basis.

With cybercrime attempts and resulting losses on the rise, both individuals and organizations need to be more intentional about investing in data security. Don’t take chances with your business, contact us for a cyber threat vulnerability assessment today.

Human Resource Management and the Mix with Cloud

People are the key drivers of business and the most important factor of production. For organizations to perform optimally and compete effectively, they must maximize their human resource. One of the ways in which organizations can effectively achieve this is by ensuring that their staff is sufficiently engaged and motivated. This underlines the importance of the HR department in organizations today.

The Human Resources department handles key functions like recruiting, on-boarding, employee engagement, and performance evaluation, all of which require heavy data generation, analysis, and management. Today, the availability of cloud-based HR tools allows various HR departments to carry out their roles more seamlessly and efficiently.

Here are a few ways in which cloud technology is supporting the roles of HR officers today.

Employee reward:

Researchers have proven that there’s a relationship between employee reward and motivation towards work. Although rewards could range from tangible – like financial benefits – to intangible – like recognition of employees on the organization’s blog or social media page – these rewards play a major role in improving employee performance altogether.

The use of cloud-based technology within organizations helps management extend more benefits to employees through the office of HR. One of these benefits has played out to be the key reason why some organizations have been able to retain their key staff. The benefit in question? Work from home policy.

Cloud technology, from Gmail to Collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams has been the major driver of remote working, which has allowed HR departments to effectively implement flexible working policies that allow staff to work from home. The ease that comes with this policy, which is swiftly becoming commonplace all over the world, has encouraged many employees to keep their job engaged.

Reducing workload:

Excessive workload created by paperwork can be eliminated by adopting the Cloud HR Software. With this adoption, all data can be sorted and stored in the cloud servers for easy access.

Security of employee information:

Since all the data is stored in the cloud server, there is no risk of losing information to natural hazards like fire outbreaks, burglary, or earthquakes. More so with cloud security, information stored on the server can be just as secure and also backed up in the case of data breaches or theft.

Effective monitoring of employee performance:

The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in Cloud HR Software can help with employee assessment, promotion, increment, and retention operations. By analyzing the data across the organization, The HR department can use AI to monitor employee performance and address issues proactively.

Rewarding and managing employee performance doesn’t have to be a herculean task. When “cloud” meets human resources, HR officers can adopt cloud-based tools, cut down on usually strenuous functions, and focus on other important parts of their duties.

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Understanding Cloud Computing Environments and Services

If you’ve followed closely on our recent articles on cloud computing, I believe that you now have a better understanding of what it entails. We’ve touched on how it works and highlighted top-tier brands that are reaping the benefits of investing in this tech solution.

If you’ve followed closely on our recent articles on cloud computing, I believe that you now have a better understanding of what it entails. We’ve touched on how it works and highlighted top-tier brands that are reaping the benefits of investing in this tech solution.

In the last piece, we talked about how cloud services could help businesses reduce the cost of owning data centers and hiring IT experts. However, it is important to note that some cloud environments might still require businesses to own their servers, employ IT experts, and self-maintain.

Below is a list of different types of cloud environments and their benefits;

Public Cloud

A public cloud is owned by a third-party cloud service provider. On the public cloud, third-party service providers like Amazon, Microsoft, or Google can offer computing resources like servers and storage to customers over the internet. Through these services, businesses can get access to virtual machines, applications, and storage while working remotely. Public cloud services can be free or sold on-demand.

In this case, the cloud service provider is responsible for the management and maintenance of the system.

Benefits:

  • No need for on-premises IT resources.
  • Reduced service cost as businesses only pay for the consumed bandwidth.
  • It’s easier to set up compared to on-premises infrastructure.
  • Infinite scalability. i.e. as long as you can pay for the bandwidth you intend to consume, the service provider’s network can cater to your needs.

Private Cloud

This is a model where cloud computing resources are used exclusively by one business. I bet you can already tell from the name. In most cases, private clouds are usually hosted on the company’s on-site premises. However, businesses can still pay third parties to host their private cloud. The top benefit of a private cloud is the level of security and privacy it allows. When hosted internally, businesses can ensure that operations and sensitive data are not accessible to third-party providers. The only downside? It requires the same staffing, management, and maintenance expenses as owning your own data center.

Benefits:

  • Custom-made solutions for the user.
  • High level of security
  • Support for upscale

Hybrid Cloud

Like everything else that’s a hybrid, this combines two things together. It combines both the private and public cloud systems held together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. A hybrid cloud strategy provides businesses with greater flexibility by moving workloads between cloud solutions, as needs and costs fluctuate.

Benefits:

  • Improved security and risk management
  • Improved business continuity and reduced potential downtime and resulting costs.

In these different environments, you can use the different cloud computing services, depending on your needs. They include;

1. Software as a service (SaaS):

One of the most popular cloud services. It delivers on-demand software applications over the internet on a subscription basis. More like Netflix.

2. Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas):

Reportedly the most basic cloud service. It allows you to rent IT infrastructures like servers, storage, and virtual machines among others on a pay-as-you-go basis.

3. Platform as a Service (PaaS):

Used mostly by developers. It supplies an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications.

4. Serverless:

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Cloud Computing – Simplest Explanation on the Web

In our previous article, we looked into brands that have scaled up their businesses leveraging cloud services and promised to do a breakdown of cloud computing in a subsequent piece. Well, this is us keeping that word. Welcome to our 101 on cloud computing.

Through this article, we intend to help you understand the concept of cloud computing, the different cloud environments, and their respective benefits. No narratives today; we’d be jumping right in.

Just to recap, cloud computing is an innovative tech solution that makes computer services like storage, access to software, and analytics available over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. It allows you to enjoy the benefits of specific software and hardware without having to incur the cost of maintaining the infrastructure.

Let’s break that down

Think of it like this; (I know I said no narrative but I guess I can’t help myself). Let’s say you need a transport mode to help you get around daily. Now, there are two major options: you can either get a car of your own or use other transport services like Uber or regular buses.

While the first option seems great, it comes with its responsibilities. You’d be responsible for the maintenance of the car which would require both time and money. You’d need to do this on days when the car is in use, and on other days when it’s just sitting in your garage. If you do not want to spend time on maintenance, you’d need to get someone who will, and pay them. Now, that translates to more money out of your pocket.

But, on the other hand, the second option allows you to pay for transportation only when you need the service. The maintenance cost will be borne by Uber’s service managers and you can access the service from anywhere.

This second scenario portrays the benefit of cloud services.

Now let’s relate this same example to one of the services offered on the cloud – data storage.

If you need to store files, you can decide to store them on a local drive and carry it along with you wherever you go. You will be responsible for keeping and maintaining that local drive and will not be able to access the information saved on it when it’s out of sight.

However, with a cloud service like Google drive, you do not need a physical storage device. You can store your files (image, video, or text) on the cloud and access them from anywhere via the web. No cost incurred.

Cloud computing for businesses.

Small storage devices like flash drives or hard drives can easily cater to the storage needs of Individuals. However, organizations tend to need bigger storage facilities to meet their needs. Owning and maintaining these on-premises servers or storage facilities require IT expertise and relative maintenance cost that could cause strains on businesses. More so, as team strength and user base increase, organizations who manage their own data centers will need to invest in more robust infrastructure to accommodate their growing needs. This will result in increased cost of installation and maintenance and could stifle efforts to upscale.

However, with cloud services, small and large organizations can upscale and downscale at will whilst managing operational costs. With this, the organization can focus its effort on providing value to its customers and meeting its set targets.

We hope that through this piece, you’ve gotten a better understanding of what cloud computing entails.

In our next piece, we’d focus on the different cloud environments and types of cloud services.

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Top Companies Using Cloud Technology – Including Netflix

That’s right, Netflix uses cloud technology. This right here should be common knowledge, but you probably just never just gave it a thought. How else do you think they’ve been offering their broad movie collection to over 100 million users across over 190 countries enjoying 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day? By the way, big ups Netflix, those are pretty huge numbers.

Cloud computing is a very broad subject. While we might not be able to dabble into its concept fully in this article, we’d give you a simple definition of what it entails and expatiate further in our next article. Simply put, cloud computing is an innovative tech solution that makes computer services like storage, access to software, and analytics available on-demand over the internet.

Cloud computing allows businesses to store data on a third-party server, and offer their customers remote access to their services. While all the companies listed below use cloud computing for this function, this is only one of its use cases.

As is swiftly becoming my custom, I’d leave you with a little narrative to give you a nudge if you’re on that crossroad, trying to decide if subscribing to a cloud service is right for you.

Way back in 1997, Netflix started out as a DVD distributor. At the time, they delivered DVDs to customers via emails. 10 years later, after completing 1 billion DVD distribution, Netflix decided to remodel its operations. Hence, they partnered with Amazon who at the time was one year into the deployment of its web service (AWS). Netflix had identified that online video streaming was the next big thing and cloud computing was the key to making such service available to a vast audience.

The aftermath

Today, Netflix can complete 1 billion video streams in a few months, far less than the 10-year period that it took to electronically distribute 1 billion DVDs when it still maintained its traditional mode of operation, prior to its cloud model. Its service delivery is a lot swifter and operations a lot more secure. All of this has been made possible through cloud services.

Here are some other top-tier brands that have become huge successes by leveraging on the limitless promises of cloud computing.

Pinterest

Unlike many other brands that caught the cloud computing wind years after launch, Pinterest is one company that started out with it. Hence, its success in the social media space at an early stage. Today, millions of creators download and upload resources to the platform while it stores its massive bank of data on the cloud.

Arik Air

In 2019, Arik Air decided to move its manual processes and a log of data into the cloud. Descasio was instrumental in helping the company make this transition leveraging Google cloud services. As a result of the shift, Arik was able to reduce the cost of maintaining its own data centers and focus more on its delivery to customers. Thus, maintaining its competitive edge in the market.

In all three examples referenced above, we find one similar result. All three companies have been able to scale up their businesses with the aid of cloud computing.

You can begin your journey today and open your business to new possibilities with cloud computing. It’s more promising, cost-efficient, and a lot more secure.

We can help you get started. Send us a mail at hi@descasio.io

Did you read our last piece on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR)? Well, if you did, I’m certain that you already understand the basics. But, just in case you missed it, you can catch up on it right here.

We have established that the goal for creating a BCDR plan may be the same in most cases;

  • Reduce loss of data.
  • Ensure quick restoration of vital communication channels and business processes.
  • Reduce financial losses to the barest minimum.

However, the approach may vary from one business to the other. This explains why at Descasio, we take a unique, multi-layer approach towards developing BCDR plans that are air-tight.

Here’s what it entails;

1. Assessment

Our professional service team takes a data-driven approach towards assessing each business environment. They spend long hours studying each business’s unique mode of operation to answer requisite questions like; what are the vital communication channels? Are there software and programs that are crucial to daily operations? What work files contain data that could bring business activities to a halt if lost?

Getting answers to these questions helps us to create an all-encompassing, clear-cut strategy that;

  • Ensures critical information is stored and can be made readily available when disaster strikes.
  • Guarantees that business can continue while recovery takes place.

2. Designing the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan

Having answered the critical questions, we proceed to create a design document. This document shows our recommended protections for your business. Also, it will contain a proposition of infrastructures to be set up for smooth operations during downtimes. Following this, our cloud consultants will implement the BCDR solution for your business.

3. Implementation

At the final stage, we run all the necessary checks. Here, we optimize the solution based on results and modify anomalies where necessary. This simulation process helps us to ensure that recovery time is reduced to the barest minimum. Also, it helps us verify how back-up applications will perform in the face of a catastrophic outage.

We understand that creating an effective Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan requires period testing just as much as careful planning. Hence, we stay committed to our clients long after deployment and ensure that the plan is updated when necessary.

Are you finally considering working on your BCDR plan? Send us an email at hi@descasio.io and we can help you get started.

If you have any questions or comments, kindly drop them in the comment section below.

It sounds self-explanatory, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Yes, a business continuity and disaster recovery plan – usually referred to as BCDR – is one that helps an organization recover from disasters and keeps it running afterward. But, how do you put that in the context of your business operation?

A little narrative here.

In November 2016, a malware attack was launched at a network of hospitals in the UK. The virus wiped out patients’ data, crippled systems, and halted operations at three separate hospitals for five whole days. As a result, more than 2,800 patient procedures and appointments were canceled. After the event, the hospitals were evaluated and reported to have had no disaster recovery and business continuity plan available.

With a BCDR plan, the hospitals would have been able to restore patient data which is critical to running diagnosis and completing other hospital operations, retain their flow of customers at the time, and reduce financial losses. I guess that puts it in perspective.

Now, here are a few things you should know about business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

You will need them regardless of the size of the disaster.

Events as huge and unsettling as the pandemic or other natural disasters can cause several disruptions to business operations. However, there are other seemingly smaller events that could also have surprisingly massive and depleting impacts on businesses. These events could range from service downtimes to cyber-attacks, IT system crashes, and other interruptions.

In the event of such disasters, – however big or small – a BCDR plan considers the importance of protecting financial, customer, and product/service data as well as applications and systems that need to be up to ensure smooth business operations and reduce losses of all kinds.

It cushions the effect of planned and unanticipated outages.

Whether an outage is anticipated or unexpected, the BC/DR plan plays a major role in cushioning its effect and improving recovery time.

There is no one-size-fits-all BCDR plan.

A BCDR plan is a detailed fail-safe strategy that is designed to fit into the unique operation module of a business. The details can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the business. Hence, it is important to speak to disaster recovery experts when attempting to develop a BCDR plan for your business.

Need a BCDR plan, we can fix you up. Send a request to hi@descasio.io.

The fascinating advent of digital transformation represents a seismic shift that will impact companies, business paths, and entire economic structures.

The fascinating advent of digital transformation represents a seismic shift that will impact companies, business paths, and entire economic structures.

The question today is, what digital tools should you start diving into in order to get fully prepared to master this incredibly powerful transformation, hone new skills, and boost your digital swagger? By reading this article on the best digital transformation tools, you will get access to the top 5 best tools you should explore to ride the digital transformation wave in style.

What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the brand-new utilisation of digital tech to deal with typically complex problems. This series of digital solutions can actually craft whole new types of creative innovation, instead of just serving as an enhancement or an add-on to what already exists. This change represents the integration of immensely complex digital technologies into all the different arenas of a corporation.

The expected result? To ensure there will be crucial changes in terms of how businesses effectively operate and how they can ultimately boost the value they give the end-customer.

Digital transformation can also be seen as a cultural change. Why? Because it will consistently require that all businesses challenge their own perceptions and ideas, putting the status quo to test every single day.

What is the aim of Digital Transformation?
This cultural shape-shifting phenomenon has one goal: to ensure digitized information creates methods that let organizations become more efficient. It’s really all about allowing companies to understand that – in order for them to stay relevant and still have a business in the next 5 years – they need to up the ante, become faster, better, more tech-oriented, and more knowledgeable of the power of data.

What are the biggest challenges facing Digital Transformation?
There are many challenges when it comes to digital transformation. The most important one is what is known as employee pushback. What’s this all about? It’s about understanding human beings like routine and structure and that this type of change will obviously impact that tried-and-tested method. What to do? Businesses should ensure they keep their employees informed of all the different changes that will impact their day-to-day.

Here’s a list of other digital transformation challenges that are sure to take a lot of hours of sleep from some of the world’s most forward-thinking CEOs:

  • Difficulty to find expertise to lead the digital boom.
  • Resistance from top brass (usually more conservative and resilient in their ways)
  • Lack of a budget assigned to digital transformation.
  • Lack of full-blown visibility when it comes to the end user experience.
  • Highly-complexified IT infrastructure that makes it impossible to perform needed changes.
  • Budgetary restrictions that make companies lag behind.

An easy choice
As technology change increases, industries will continue to be forced to change. Corporations that regard and pursue digital transformation in a multi-dimensional way will find greater success than those that don’t.

Ready to find out more?- Sign up to use our proprietary Digital Assessment Tool and assess your company’s digital readiness to transform its business model, operational processes, products and services, and customer experience. Have questions? Contact us